Ethics in Law Enforcement | Legal Studies | Alison

Ethics in Law Enforcement

Learn about the moral and ethical issues that exist in law enforcement with this free online course.

Free Course
This free online ethical law enforcement course teaches you about the key ethical issues of law enforcement, such as the ethical use or power and authority of officers, the differences in conformity, officers' conditioning investigations, and the ethical issues behind the Milgram experiment. You will also look into the accountability of law enforcement officers, the culture within law enforcement agencies/departments, and more.
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Assessment

  • Certification

  • Responsive






View course modules


Police are essential for a lawful civil society, by protecting citizens and enforcing law and order. This free online course Ethics in Law Enforcement will teach you about the moral and ethical issues that exist within law enforcement, from the importance of ethical behaviour in policing to the ethics involved in policing public demonstrations. 

The course begins by reviewing why ethical behaviour is important in society, and why ethics matter when pursuing a career in law enforcement. The course then discusses the accountability of the police, how they can be held to account for their actions, along with how police officers can be investigated for reports of such actions. 

Next, the ethical issues around loyalty in the police force are discussed. The course also reviews what police subculture is, the socialization of new recruits into the subculture and the roles skepticism and cynicism play in law enforcement. Start this course today and learn about the moral and ethical issues that can exist within law enforcement. 


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Ethical Behaviour

Ethical Systems

Ethical Dilemmas and the Process of Effective Resolution

Key Ethical Issues within Law Enforcement

Accountability and Investigation


Discretion, Supervision, and Leadership

The Culture of Law Enforcement

Course assessment

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss the major arguments concerning the importance of ethics in law enforcement
  • Identify the issues relating to morals, ethics, values, ethical codes, ethical standards, and ethical dilemmas
  • Identify the importance of values in law enforcement
  • Recognize how law enforcement officers can be investigated and held accountable
  • Discuss how ethical issues arise from decision making, discretion, and the structure of accountability
  • Identify the ethical issues when policing difficult situations such as protests
  • Discuss the ethical issues within the polcie subculture
  • Recognize how law enforcement needs to weigh moral culpability against legal culpability


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire an official Certificate, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certificate is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

Alison offers 3 types of Certificates for completed Certificate courses:

Digital Certificate - a downloadable Certificate in PDF format, immediately available to you when you complete your purchase
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All Certificates are available to purchase through the Alison Shop. For more information on purchasing Alison Certificates, please visit our FAQs. If you decide not to purchase your Alison Certificate, you can still demonstrate your achievement by sharing your Learner Record or Learner Achievement Verification, both of which are accessible from your Dashboard. For more details on our Certificate pricing, please visit our Pricing Page.



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